Vietnamese localities receives first international tourists of Tet holiday

Monday, 23/01/2023 17:30
The northern province of Quang Ninh held a ceremony on January 22, the first day of the Year of the Cat, to welcome the lunar new year's first group of foreign tourists to Ha Long Bay – a world natural heritage site recognised by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), reported Vietnam News Agency.
 Local leaders of Quang Ninh posted a photo with international tourists. (Photo: VNA)

The group comprised 150 visitors from different countries arriving on the cruise ship Silver Spirit, which departed from Hong Kong (China). Quang Ninh is the first docking point of the ship on the first voyage of the Year of the Cat. After leaving Quang Ninh, the Silver Spirit's next destination is Da Nang and Ho Chi Minh City.

The same day, the central coastal city of Da Nang also welcomed the first international flight of the new lunar year, which was the VZ964 of Thai Vietjet Air carrying 100 passengers from Thailand.

Upon their arrival, the guests were treated to a lively welcome ceremony with art performance and presented with vouchers for local destinations, restaurants and specialties.

The first group of foreign tourists to Da Nang city are presented with flowers and gifts upon arrival at Da Nang International Airport on January 22. (Photo: VNA) 

During the Lunar New Year holiday 2023 which lasts from January 20-26, Da Nang is slated to receive 768 international and domestic flights with more than 98,000 passengers. A variety of activities will be organised for local residents and tourists on the occasion including Tet fairs, a street carnival, and performances of Bai choi singing (a folk music genre practised in Vietnam’s central region, which has been added to the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity).

Also on January 22, a train carrying 300 tourists, including 50 foreigners, arrived in the central province of Binh Thuan. The first visitors to the province in the Year of the Cat were welcomed at the Phan Thiet Station with Tet wishes and lucky money in accordance with traditional Tet customs.

Many international visitors expressed their delight at the warm welcome from the local tourism industry. (Photo: VNA) 

The province, which hosts the 2023 national tourism year, has set a target of attracting 6.5 million visitors, including 200,000 international travelers, this year. Total revenue from tourism activities is expected to hit 15.9 trillion VND (678 million USD).

Overseas Vietnamese across continents celebrate traditional New Year

Overseas Vietnamese people in Japan, Israel, Slovakia, and Czech Republic have celebrated the Lunar New Year (Tet) festival in a warm atmosphere in line with Vietnamese traditions, reported Vietnam News Agency.

On January 21 (the last day of the Year of the Tiger) and January 22 (the first day of the Year of Cat in Vietnam), authorities in Japan’s Kobe city, Vietnamese businesses, and the Vietnamese Association in Kobe held a Tet celebration for the local 8,000-strong Vietnamese community.

The event, sponsored by the Consulate General of Vietnam in Osaka, is one of the association’s activities towards the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and Japan.

On the occasion, representatives from Kobe administration pledged to support the operation of Japanese-Vietnamese friendship associations and the Vietnamese association in the city.

On January 21, the Vietnamese Embassy in Israel coordinated with the Vietnamese community in the country to organise a Tet celebration with the participation of about 300 guests including overseas Vietnamese, the Embassy staff, and foreign friends in Israel.

The programme recreated an old-time Tet space in Vietnam consisting of a spring food stall, wrapping and cooking chung cake, displaying a tray of five fruits, decorating peach bloomsome, kumquats, preparing a Tet meal, and offering lucky money.

Overseas Vietnamese sing at the Tet celebration held by Vietnamese Embassy and Vietnamese Association in the Czech Republic. (Photo: VNA) 

The celebration, though held in a place far away from Vietnam, was still able to bring the overseas Vietnamese a joyful and cozy spring atmosphere.

The same day, the Vietnamese Embassy in Slovakia cooperated with the Vietnamese Association in the country’s Bratislava capital and Kosice city to organised a meeting marking the Vietnamese traditional Tet festival.

Speaking at the event, Vietnamese Ambassador to Slovakia Nguyen Tuan highly appreciated the role of the Vietnamese Association as a bridge connecting the overseas Vietnamese community with the homeland.

In 2022, the Vietnamese community in Slovakia contributed to the Sovereign Canoe fund for the Truong Sa island district and the DK1 rig with a total amount of more than 8,400 euros (over 9,100 USD).

In the Czech Republic, the Vietnamese Embassy coordinated with the Vietnamese Association in the country to organise programme to celebrate the Lunar New Year 2023 on January 20 after nearly three years of disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tuna becomes billion-dollar export for first time: VASEP

 Workers process tuna for export at a factory in Binh Dinh province. (Photo: VNA)

Despite a sharp fall in exports before the end of 2022 due to global inflation, tuna still brought home 1 billion USD in revenue last year, up 34% from 2021, becoming a billion-dollar commodity for the first time, reported Vietnam News Agency.

Tuna products of Vietnam were shipped to 99 markets, of which the US, the EU, members of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), Israel, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, Russia, the Philippines, and Egypt were the largest importers, accounting for 92% of total exports, according to the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP).

Germany, Spain, and Belgium were the biggest EU buyers of Vietnamese tuna. Notably, shipments to Germany and Spain shot up 161% and 117% last December, respectively.

Tuna exports to Japan, a CPTPP member, grew fast in the last quarter of 2022. The value surged 131% year on year in December alone, helping raise the export turnover to CPTPP markets to nearly 136 million USD, up 48%.

Meanwhile, strong declines were recorded in shipments to many other markets, VASEP said, noting that after dropping in November, tuna exports to the US fell by another 38% in December. However, last year’s exports to this market still rose 44% to approximate 487 million USD.

VASEP forecast the export in the first quarter of 2023 will be unable to sustain its 2022 performance, but markets may recover in the latter half of this year. Free trade agreements are the driver for tuna exports in the year’s beginning./.